Today I decided to take the least stressful path in compliance with our state's homeschool law ...
After moving back up here last year, I found that complying with a new set of homeschool regulations was overwhelming. I moved from a state that the HSLDA considers a little more regulated than here and I will tell you that there are so many loopholes and painless ways to be in compliance with Tennessee homeschool law, that I don't understand why they bother doing the paperwork. In New Hampshire, at the end of each school year, we can get a portfolio review by a certified teacher or administer standardized tests. (There is a third option which I still don't understand.)
My kids have never taken standardized tests before so I decided to go the portfolio route since we are technically supposed to keep one for our records for two years anyway. Having never done a homeschool portfolio before, I found myself stressing over this on a daily basis. Really... I mean daily!! Here I am, already having to deal with a big adjustment from homeschooling two of my kids to homeschooling three this year, along with taking care of my 3 year old, who seems to have a knack for getting into more than her brothers ever did, and now I have to change how we homeschool to produce "papers" for a book for someone else to judge? Energetically, this has not been a good situation for me, my kids or homeschooling in general and I haven't been able to figure out a solution for it. All the meditation in the world was not going to fix this!
After sitting down and taking a hard look at the root cause of my stress, I realized that it was my resentment that in the "Live Free or Die" state I am being forced to change how I intuitively "teach" my kids to conform with an external system that doesn't take my childrens' individualism into account. After weighing the pros and cons of what my choices are, I decided that the standardized test route will be the least painful. I can order the tests, look them over to see if I need to cover anything over the next couple of months that my kids don't already know then administer them over a few days as the test company suggests. As for the portfolio contents, I am throwing each of the kids' papers in a box and forgetting about it. I am respecting my own limits and the fact that I am not a scrapbook type of person. I will not change my sense of what is really important in life in order to put together some pretty-looking, results-driven books "just in case."
Whew... I feel a whole lot better already!
As a Parent Coach and Mentor, my passion lies in empowering parents to make the best decisions they can for their children and their families as a whole. As a well-trained coach, I can be your facilitator and accountability partner for long-lasting, meaningful change that has a permanent, positive impact for your family. By focusing on the values that you hold most important in your life, I can help you create and maintain the type of parenting relationship you want to have with your children, now and into their adulthood.
I am a homeschooling mom of four children in Massachusetts. I am also the author of a book called The Herbal Beverage Book, which can be found on amazon. When not coaching, writing or spending time with the family, I enjoy Hayao Miyazaki films, new and classic Dr. Who episodes, anything related to American history and a great glass of mead.
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This blog is a collection of thoughts, articles and perspectives I have at any one time. While I am pretty consistent in my beliefs, life changes and evolves along with experiences. You may feel a connection with me through my writing yet I never want any of my readers to misunderstand that the connection you feel is with a perspective I have shared and not me as a person. I am continually humbled that I am able to connect with my readers, and I hope to continue to be able to for many years to come, but it doesn't make us connected in any way beyond this. If you connect with what I write and know me as an acquaintance, this in no way reflects that I have any knowledge of you, your situation in life or that I am writing with you in mind. It is merely that I have shared a human experience that most likely very many others have had has well. This also goes for anything I post on my Twitter account, Facebook Page and Facebook personal page. I wanted to make this disclaimer as clear as possible so you know that any misunderstanding you choose to have is not my responsibility.